Biden, Trump and Democracy

DILIMAN WAY

Homobono A. Adaza

“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government.
Governments should be afraid of their people.” – Alan Moore

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” -Plato

America is a beacon light of democracy in the world. As some people say, when America catches cold, the rest of the democratic world gets pneumonia – that is in a political sense.

When Donald J. Trump was elected American President in 2016, democracy was in grave peril because the man has no respect for democratic values and institutions – as his vulgar words and erratic behavior show.

He is so enamored with himself he succeeded, with his charisma and demagoguery, to create a cult whose members worship him as a demigod incapable of being wrong – even if he spews lies in all direction so brazen that it is almost difficult to think how it is possible for him to have tens of millions of Americans who believe in his lies hook line and sinker.

But to an intelligent observer, it is no surprise that someone can create cults in America because there are many cults in America, in microcosmic forms – Ku Klux Klan, Manson, Qanon, Neo-Nazis, Proud Boys and many others. The surprise is the millions of members who embrace the Trump cult without the need for active recruitment. All they do is listen to Trump and respond to their own insane and ignorant impulses which Trump encourages.

The truth of the matter is that the true believers in Trump are ignorant of democracy and belong to the lunatic fringe in America. Of course, there are so many exceptions. Many of them deserted Trump at the beginning of the 2020 election campaign.

More known personalities who did just that are former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Colin Powell, General Mathis; Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer who wrote a devastating book on Trump entitled MEA CULPA; Trump’s niece who wrote a book, TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH: HOW MY FAMILY CREATED THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN which demolished Trump as a liar, a cheater and a fraud; Trump’s own National Security Adviser, John Bolton who wrote a book, THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED, which described Trump as incompetent; John Kelly, resigned Trump NSA before Bolton who described the White House under Trump as a “bad place to work”; Anthony Schwartz who was the ghost writer of Trump’s best selling book, THE ART OF THE DEAL, who like the others described Trump as a liar, incompetent, racist and misogynist; and Mike Pompeo, Trump’s Secretary of State who still desperately clings to Trump for his own reasons, called Trump once as “full of shit”.

If a relative who has a doctorate in clinical psychology, a lawyer who used to champion your cases, a ghost writer who wrote your best selling book, and your own close associates describing you as the worst possible person they know, you must really be a piece of shit – unfit to be president of your own country.

Poor loser: Despite Trump’s strenuous campaigning, Trump lost the election to Joe Biden by a comfortable electoral vote margin and historic popular votes, Consistent with his whining even before the election that the only way he could lose is if he is cheated, he filed cases all over the place and continues to claim he won the election and was robbed of victory.

What a pitiful sight for a President of the United States of America. He has not only dishonored the American presidency, he has diminished America and democracy in the eyes of the world.

Until now he refuses to concede he lost. He went to court thinking he could win the cases, all of them were thrown out of court for being baseless, numbering about thirty four. Leaders all over the world have congratulated Joe Biden for his victory – Boris Johnson of England, Angela Merkel of Germany, Emmanuel Macron of France, Netanyahu of Israel. Only the dictators in the world have not congratulated Joe Biden – Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jin Ping of People’s Republic of China and Kim of North Korea.

Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security declared that the 2020 election was the most secured in the history of America. A number of Republican senators, governors and leading figures like Chris Christie of New Jersey have already congratulated Joe Biden.

American media has already announced the incontestable victory of Joe Biden but Trump refuses to budge. What a miserable sight! What a poor loser!

Back to America: The election of Joe Biden as President of the USA is breath of fresh air not only for America but all democratic countries in the world. It’s a re-affirmation of the validity of democratic values and institutions. It is a loud and clear repudiation of racism, a misogynist orientation, fascistic behavioral patterns, affection for dictatorships and strong men and isolationism. It is a return to constitutional democracy and fundamental democratic values.

It is the dawning of a regime that seeks a return to what is considered American – civility in words and conduct, adherence to the rule of law, affirmation of equality before the law, enjoyment of freedoms tempered by responsibility, a choice of excellence as against the forces of incompetence and ignorance, and leadership in the world to preserve civilization dedicated to the survival and elevation of mankind to a level of excellence.

With the beginning of the Biden era, one gets to be reminded of Thomas Jefferson’s articulation in the American Declaration that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” Similarly, with Abraham Lincoln’s immortal words, “A government of the people, of the people and for the people shall not perish here on Earth.”

We also reminisce of the undying dreams of American Presidents – Woodrow Wilson’s New Freedom, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal, John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s New Frontier and now, Joe Biden’s Back to America. We fondly remember also remember some lines from American songs like “Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s Pride. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.” We cannot help remembering the line which defines America as the “land of the free and the home of the brave”

This is what Joe Biden means to many observers in the world, return to the fundamentals – constitutionalism, rule of law, equality among men and women, justice for the deprived and downtrodden, unity in diversity, global leadership for democracy in the greater interest of mankind, and condemnation of all forms of dictatorship and mindless and ignorant cults.

America defined: America is not only a land of immigrants; it is also a land of dreams for people of all colors – black, white, yellow, brown. It is a land of tremendous possibilities – where a black man like Barack Obama can be President of the country, Catholics like John F. Kennedy and Joe Biden can be President and a colored Asian woman can be Vice-President like Kamala Harris.

Indeed, it is a land of dreamers where the impossible become possible; where dreams become real and realized. It is also a land of tremendous intellectual and artistic excellence – Justices like Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Dembitz Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, William Douglas and Robert Jackson; novelists like Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, F.B. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Robert Penn Warren and Sinclair Lewis; short story writers like O. +Henry and Sherwood Anderson; poets like Robert Frost, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Toni Morrison, Christina Rossetti; and men passionately driven by divine incandescence to better the human condition like Robert Fitzgerald “Bobby” Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

I can go on and on but the list is interminable that celebrates man at his best, brightest and greatest. As the line of the song Frank Sinatra sang so well – “that is America to me.”

The man: Joe Biden is a very simple man going back to the fundamentals. As he said it so well, he is a President for all Americans, those who voted for him and those who did not vote for him. He wants to unite America not divide it. He celebrates the noble impulses of the human being not the dark forces. This reminds me of what a governor from Mindanao said when he was taking his oath in the smallest town in his province under conditions of martial law in 1980, “Partisan politics ends with the elections. Whether you like or not I am your governor. I will serve all of you irrespective of party, gender, age and persuasion.”

That is the politics of the democrat, of an intelligent and well-oriented President, of a unifier not a divider, of a noble human being skirting the fringes of divinity in these times when the forces of evil dominates many of the countries in the world.
He is for the rule of law not only in America but for the world – giving everyone hope that massive human oppression, lawlessness and tyranny in many parts of our planet will begin to disappear for the good of mankind.

For now, these are just words. In January 20, 2020 and days, weeks, months and years thereafter, let us see how Joe Biden translates into action. As Joe Biden said, with a Kennedy flourish and flavor, “Let us show them not only the example of our power but the power of our example.”
As they say, the taste of the pudding but in the eating. HAA

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